Becky Pearce Designs

Contemporary handmade jewellery

What style of ring band is best for me?

Useful informationBecky Pearce

Which is the right ring band for me? This is a question that often crops up; especially with wedding rings which ideally we'd like to be wearing for a very long time. When it comes to choosing a ring, be it a stacking ring, or a wedding band there are a number of band styles to choose from.

Below is a description of the main styles of band I offer, but please be aware that on the website not all of the band styles are listed for each ring. This is purely because there are so many options I couldn't add them all on to my system! It just doesn't allow for that number of variation; so do get in touch and I will advise you of any cost differences and how to order 😊.

What is a D-shaped band?

 Stacking ring set with smooth and textured D shaped bands. 

Stacking ring set with smooth and textured D shaped bands. 

Before I start I should say that all of the bands are circular. I think I sometimes confuse people when I start talking about D shaped bands but what i'm talking about here is the shape of the cross section of the band not the band itself which is most definitely circular.

So the D shaped band is the band shape I most often use, and which is listed for most of my stacking rings. You can see an example in the picture above. 

 Some D shaped bands in different sizes.

Some D shaped bands in different sizes.

So what is a D-shaped band?

This is a real classic. It's flat on the inside and curved on the outside. If you were to cut the band, the edge of it would like a bit like a capital letter D.  This curve adds a satisfying weight to the ring, and it's profile often means that is sits well with an engagement ring. 

Court Shape/  Comfort fit

This style is flat on the edges but has a gentle curve on both the inside and the outside of the band. This makes it really comfortable both to wear and to take off. Apparently this ring profile is especially good to get over knuckles and sit more comfortably. Another classic shape. 

 This  flat band  is straight on the inside and outside, no doming here at all!

This flat band is straight on the inside and outside, no doming here at all!

Flat band

Now this is probably a bit more obvious; the band profile is flat on both sides (see pic above), so in this case, the cross section would be rectangular. I think a slim flat band is especially good for people who aren't used to wearing rings, or who find them uncomfortble sitting against other fingers. It's a bit like wearing flip flops, you get used to it pretty quickly, but for some people it's just never feels right. 

 Flat band comfort fit with moonstone

Flat band comfort fit with moonstone

 

Flat band comfort fit

This (for me) is just the reverse of the D shape band. So in this case it has the contemporary look of the flat band on the outer edge, but the rounded side is on the inside, making it super comfy to wear and take on and off.  

 

 This dainty infinity ring is on a round band

This dainty infinity ring is on a round band

Round

Obviously I couldn't not include a round profile ring on here too. These rings are made from round silver or gold wire. They are best suited to smaller rings, up to about 2mm to sit comfortably on the hand next to other fingers. I do love round profile rings as slim stackers. 

moonstone, silver and gold ring.jpg

March Meet The Maker - Instagram Challenge

Handmade CommunityBecky Pearce

I'm currently taking part in the intagram challenge that Joanne Hawker has set up. Joanne has her own business (www.joannehawker.co.uk) selling the gorgeous cards, prints, enamel pins she designs, but she also champions the handmade community with the #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge over on instagram. 

instagram screenshot.png

It's so fun to be joining in with other makers, and finding out a bit more about them. My instagram feed had really started to be just pictures of my finished jewellery, and I know I'm always more interested in the person behind the makes, rather than JUST the makes, so this challenge is a great way to get me more into doing on my own instagram what I look for in others. 

If you'd like to see more makers and what they're getting up to just pop along to instagram and search for the hashtag #MarchMeetTheMaker  - there are so many great new small businesses and people to meet. 

If you'd like to get involved yourself (and you don't need to be a business) just pop along to @joannehawker on insta, and find the daily prompt sheet. Each day of the March will have it's own little prompt for you to post about. Today's prompt was "Workspace" so my picture was my not very tidy bench....

bench pic

It's all very friendly, everyone can get involved and a hashtag that keeps getting added to the list is #communityovercompetition. YES! Love that. Such a great community to be a part of. Come and join in :-) 

OOoh and yes, I should probably mention that you can find me over on instagram at @beckypearcedesigns 

 

marchmeetthemaker

Birthstones

Birthstones, Useful informationBecky PearceComment

So, if you've spent anytime looking around my site, facebook or insta you will have guessed by now that birthstones are a pretty big deal for me. 

It's honestly not that I think birthstones have a special talismanic property to them. I know some people do, but for me it's not about that.  It's that extra layer of meaning (and thoughtfulness) that the birthstones lend to a piece of jewellery that makes it super special. 

My love of birthstones came about as I wanted to design something that could hold a special meaning for the wearer. Some personal, and beautiful way of signifying the special people in your life. And they presto my birthstone stacking rings were born. You can choose the shape and size of the stones to pick and mix your perfect set - they can be all round, or a mix of different shapes. So many combinations that it's rare for me to make two sets the same - which makes me very happy!

 That love of birthstones then spread to all sorts of designs in my collection. Bangles, necklaces, earrings. I just can't get enough of them. 

The stones I use for each month are below:

birthstone list

These aren't hard rules.  There are options. If you don't like your stone there are always alternatives. 

April - sorry I don't currently offer white diamonds, so I go for the alternatives of white topaz, or cz instead. 

June - the traditional birthstone is pearl, which isn't hardwearing enough in my view to be used in everyday jewellery, so I use the alternative stone, which is moonstone. It's more hardwearing and is absolutely beautiful!

October - there are two stones for October, opal or tourmaline. I use opal the most - but the choice is yours!

November - the traditional stone is yellow topaz, but this is very hard to come by these days so I use the alternative which is citrine. Some people prefer to use a different topaz instead - there are lots of blue topaz to choose from. 

December - there are a few stones that represent December. The key one is Turquoise, but the clear stones are tanzanite, london blue topaz, or swiss blue topaz. 

If you're having trouble imagining how your stones will look together, please get in touch and I will hopefully have the stones you're interested in here, and can send you a picture or video. Have a peek in my gallery page as well, as the stones you require may be featured there!

All you need to know about my birthstone stacking rings

Birthstones, Useful informationBecky Pearce1 Comment

One of the most popular set of items in my collection are the birthstone stacking rings. 

The concept is really simple, but the details and choices can get a little confusing so I thought I would pop all of the information in one place (here) to help you make sense of it all. 

customer pic

On my website there are two pages that will be most useful to you: the first is the gallery page which contains photos of various ring stacks I have sent out recently.  The second is the birthstone stacking rings product page

THE IDEA

The basic idea behind the stacking rings is to choose a set of rings to represent special people, or times (e.g. anniversaries) in your life. 

You can choose the birthstones of your children, your family, yourself and your partner. The choices are endless. As well as the birthstones I have simple spacer rings, and gold and silver heart rings which stack beautifully with the stones. 

CHOOSING YOUR BIRTHSTONES

Once you have decided what your rings will represent it's time to choose your stones. 

The list of stone options that represent each month are:

January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine
March - Sky blue topaz (alt )
April  - Cubic zirconia (aka cz) (Alt to diamond) 
April - White topaz (Alt to diamond) 
May - Emerald (I offer real and synthetic emeralds)
June - Moonstone (Alt to pearl which I don't think is hard wearing enough for a ring) 
July - Ruby (I offer real and synthetic rubies)
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire (I offer real and synthetic sapphires)
October - Opal ( I have white ones with flashes of colour, real and synthetic, and darker opals)
October - Pink tourmaline (Alt) 
November - Citrine
December - Turquoise
December - Blue zircon
December - Tanzanite
December - Swiss blue or london blue topaz 

CUTS (SHAPES) OF THE BIRTHSTONES

On my birthstone stacking rings product page you will see that I have a variety of stone cuts; e.g. rose-cut, trillion cabochon etc. I will write a blog post shortly detailing what each of these stone cuts are, but in the meantime you can see each product page for pictures and details. 

Please be aware I do not have all of the possible birthstones in each different cut. Some stones just aren't cut in a particular way, or I haven't found a good supply of them (yet). 

 Sky blue topaz 6mm trillion with a 5mm moonstone round cabochon, and 5mm rose-cut white topaz. 

Sky blue topaz 6mm trillion with a 5mm moonstone round cabochon, and 5mm rose-cut white topaz. 

It's at this point that it is worth having a browse through the ring sets I've made before in the gallery to see what shapes you think look good together.

I think about two thirds of the stacking ring sets I make are three ring stacks and these look great with a longer shaped stone (e.g. an oval or an octagon, or a larger trillion as in the case above) with two small stones stacked to one side. 

Getting the stones to stack together perfectly takes a bit of work. If you would like the rings to sit as in the set above, with very little gap between the rings you will need to choose 5mm stones or less to sit above each other.  Even when we're using a 5mm stone I will set the stones off centre  on the band slightly so they accommodate each other in the stack. 

This is why it really helps (but isn't vital) to order all of your stacking rings together at the same time, so I can enable as good a fit between the stones as possible. 

 

 Gold heart with a 5mm moonstone and a 4mm turquoise square. 

Gold heart with a 5mm moonstone and a 4mm turquoise square. 

One other thing to be aware of is that the square stones do look a little larger so I offer 4mm and 5mm options for those rather than 5mm and 6mm. 

If you have any questions on whether certain stones would work together please get in touch. I'm always happy to help. 

BAND FINISHES

On the stacking rings I offer both a hammered finish and a smooth finish. In the gold heart stack above the middle ring holding the gold heart has the hammered finish whilst the others have been left smooth. A mix of the finishes gives a really nice contrast, and adds texture to the ring set. 

I personally prefer the hammered look for myself as the finish hides the bangs and scratches I somehow manage to make on all my own rings, and also bounces the light  making the ring more shiny. 

SIZING FOR YOUR RING

Take a peek at this blog post I wrote for more information on how to measure your ring size

 

How to measure your ring size

sizingBecky Pearce
goldheartringstack

So you've decided to go for it and get a new ring - but have no idea what size to buy. There are a few options.

Here's what you need to do....

The two most reliable methods are:

1) to use one of those finger sizers. You know the ones, the set of metal rings that you try on until you get the perfect fit. You can pick up one of these for yourself on ebay  or similar. Or just pop into a high street jewellery shop and get them to size your finger for you. They are usually quite happy to do this for you. 

Or

2) you could measure an existing ring that fits you perfectly on a ring gauge, which again you can pick up cheaply or find in a local jewellery shop. I'm also really happy to do this for you if you'd like to send it to me. Just get in touch.

The third, and slightly less accurate method, is to use a DIY ring sizer. These are like little plastic belts that you pop around your finger and adjust until you have a perfect fit. I sell these in my shop. The results are usually absolutely fine, but they do feel slightly different to a ring which I think makes the fit a little harder to judge. 

 

What not to do!

There are a couple of ways to get a less accurate measurement which I really would not recommend - these are: 

1) measuring your finger with a piece of string or paper. The flimsiness of these materials does lead to a much less accurate measurement. 

2) measuring the diameter of an existing well-fitting ring with a ruler or a printable size chart. I know this seems like a logical thing to do, but half a mm can mean a whole size difference so unless you are extra accurate in taking the measurement, it could result in a poor fit. 

How to measure your ring size

Things to take into consideration when checking your ring size. 

The thicker the ring, the tighter the fit, so if you choose a ring with a deep band width, you will likely need to go one size up. Likewise, if you're going for a set of stacking rings of three or more, go up half to a full size to take account of that. 

The best time of day to measure is in the evening, when your fingers are largest. Avoid measuring when you’re cold, as fingers are at least half a size smaller. 

How to secretly measure for ring size.

All of the above methods are easy enough to measure your own ring size but what if the ring is a gift and you want to keep it secret? Don't worry, there are some options. 

The easiest one is to borrow a ring that fits the person in question really well.  Ideally you should borrow the ring for long enough to take it to a jewellers to get it measured on a ring gauge. Remember that each finger is different so if you are planning on purchasing an engagement ring as a suprise, don't take the ring size of a ring which fits the person's thumb, or second finger. You'll need to use a ring which fits well on the ring finger. 

If you can't borrow the ring for long enough to take to a jewellers shop - again, you could buy your own ring gauge (I think you can get them for less than £5 on ebay) or you could try the ring on your own finger, and make a mark where the ring sits. Then head to the jeweller and get the ring measurement that fits to that point on your finger. 

Finally, and this one is probably a little obvious, but you could ask what ring size he/she is, either asking the person themselves, or phoning a friend or relative to see if they know. 

Why it's important to get the ring size right. 

It's important to get the size as accurate as possible, as all of my rings are handmade to your exact specification. As a custom item I can't accept returns unless there is a fault with the ring. 

If the ring is too small I can usually help, as I have a tool which enables me to stretch the band of rings a little - possibly up to 2 sizes depending on the ring. This would involve a small cost to cover my return p&p and time. 

However, if the ring is too big I can't resize it. Reducing the size of the ring involves cutting through the band to remove some of the material, and then resoldering.  Unfortunately, the temperature involved in the resoldering process is high, and flows round the band and into the stones causing heat damage; discolouration and cracking.  I think some high street jewellers are able to reduce the ring size for you, as they have special tools to restrict the heat, but I'm not able to recommend anyone specifically. 

You will notice that on my website the ring sizes are letters, and this is the UK ring size. If you have found your ring size in US sizing or European sizing which are both numerical just let me know as I can work with that. 

I really  hope that all helps, but if you have any problems or need some advice on sizing pop me an email, or leave a comment here.

How to measure for a bangle.

sizingBecky Pearce1 Comment

Most of the bangles I sell are round in shape, but there is the option to have them in an opening bangle, or in a cuff (open) style bangle if you require. Just get in touch to let me know if you'd prefer this. 

 

charm bangle

For the round bangles I usually offer three sizes as standard:

Small is 60mm diameter/ 18.9cm circumference

Medium is 65mm diameter/ 20.4cm circumference

Large is 70mm diameter/ 22cm circumference

So how do you know what is the best size bangle for you?

Well, the 2 best options are:

1) Measure an existing, well-fitting bangle

This is the easiest option - just find a bangle that fits you well, and measure the internal diameter (across from North to South straight through the middle of the bangle). Make sure it's the inside of bangle you measure, don't reach to the outer edge of the bangle. Then choose the nearest size (bigger) from the choices above. 

2) Measuring your hand with a tape

You'll need a measuring tape, or piece of string.

Bend your thumb as far as possible into your hand. The kind of position you would put your hand into if you were putting a bangle on, with the thumb reaching toward the little finger. 

Then wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of your hand.  Keep the tape tight, it shouldn't be loose - we are looking to get a measurement of the smallest you can make your wrist. It's always so tempting to leave a bit of wiggle room when measuring, but you don't want to do that!

Make a note of the size, or mark the string and measure against a ruler. 

This measurement gives you the circumference (see the size guides above). 

 

infinitybangle

Bearing in mind when choosing your size, that you will want to go for the next size up, rather than the nearest size down. If you've measured correctly you should have the circumference of the hand at its smallest, so anything smaller than that just will not go on. 

Do bear in mind that all of my bangles are handmade for you, so if you find you need a different size, just let know, I'd be happy to help. 

If you're unsure, or are buying as a gift, I'd recommend going for the medium size 65mm diameter, which fits most people, and is by far the most common size in the UK.